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HAK3180

What Do You Think of Wormholes?

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Sorry about the clickbait...

 

I finally started Sunlust a few days ago, and in Map 07 I could access the exit with like 3/9 secrets and less than 40% kills. The exit room gives you a computer area map, so then I explored some more. I got to 8/9 secrets with still only 89/203 kills. Turns out it's a whole sidequest based on the 666 tag.

 

I'm not talking about maps with short/straightforward critical paths that offer a lot more obvious exploring but can be completed quickly with luck or previous knowledge (e.g. Tricks and Traps, lots of city maps). I'm talking about these maps that kinda try to convince you that's all there is, and the rest (space and/or monsters) is hidden well/secret and only subtly hinted at. TNT 04 Wormhole is the only iwad example I can think of. 

 

So what do you think of maps with these types of concepts, that is, hidden major sidequests/substantial amount of secret gameplay?

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I think Mayhem 17 had something like this in MAP11, where the majority of the map had to be accessed by secrets.

Frankly, I don't see it often enough to have any kind of real opinion on it. It's a really cool idea, but it just doesn't get executed very often.

Secret maps tend to automatically qualify for this I think, given their very nature is to be secretive and, thus, hidden.

But, if I had to formulate an opinion on the (extremely) few maps of this type I've seen, I'd say I like it, even if I don't find everything.

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I think that if they exist, they are part of the quantum foam, too small for even an electron to fit, and they exist for such a short time that even light couldn't get all the way through. It could be theoretically possible to keep one from closing and stretch it out to big enough to go though, but it would require insane amounts of negative mass, something that the physics equations allow, but we humans have never seen, let alone figured out how to make even in small quantities.

 

Meanwhile, I like the idea of secrets, but not the idea of most of the map being secret.

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hmmm I don't think the map needs to have its major portion as secret, but I like the idea of secrets that goes beyond being a square room with the reward. I'm not sure if people like it though, but for me it would be interesting to find more experimental and weird setpieces as secrets, while the "reward" itself isn't that much important.

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I just went through Sunlust's first seven maps.

I managed to work out the nine secrets on MAP07 and got 202/203 kills (I was playing on HMP), and I'd have to say that I thought it was really cool. The encounters were easy enough that they didn't pose any serious threat that you could focus on secret hunting until you got to the BFG, and everything went to shit there.

It was still fun, though.

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It's very difficult to pull off. It's hard to make such areas without making them feel completely pointless.

 

That said, I've always tried to have major areas of my maps as secrets.

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Love maps that does stuff like this, and I think E1M2 and E1M3 are prime examples to follow, even if they are more "many interlinked secrets" rather than "a major part of the map" - well, that computer maze is pretty big, and the hunt for the secret exit is pretty epic. Never shall I forget that rewarding feeling of standing at the imp's ledge looking over the outdoor pit first time I found the secret exit in m3.

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47 minutes ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

I just went through Sunlust's first seven maps.

I managed to work out the nine secrets on MAP07 and got 202/203 kills (I was playing on HMP), and I'd have to say that I thought it was really cool. The encounters were easy enough that they didn't pose any serious threat that you could focus on secret hunting until you got to the BFG, and everything went to shit there.

It was still fun, though.

Yeah, it took me an embarrassingly long time to realize what was going on. I mean, every secret had a manc and most had nothing but a single health bonus. In my defense, I didn't really realize I was playing Map 07 right away. Then I thought the final area itself might be a secret, but in hindsight, it's probably better that it was not. Yeah, I thought this one was well done.

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The last one I found was the one right next to the start area you had to jump across the gap to get to and use a tiny switch there to reveal two more fatsos. Then I got to the BFG and got slaughtered the first run around.

I say slaughtered. I got smashed, but I did okay for trying to run out like a bitch.

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I'm generally positive about this sort of thing.  I tend to think of secrets as being arranged on a spectrum, with "tiny closet with one item in it" at the one end of the scale, and "secret level" at the other - vast, completely optional secret areas of the sort described here probably fall just this side of "secret level" on that particular spectrum.  I think the relative rarity of such areas contributes to how satisfying they are to find.

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I've run into far too few instances to have a solid opinion on the subject, but since my most recent case was also Sunlust, I think it's a double edged sword.

 

Most of the maps offered just enough to be a satisfactory experience without having to bother with secret hunting, but MAP07 for instance felt far too empty and odd considering that I've finished it with only 50% kills or so. This was not an ideal scenario because the level was not experienced to its fullest, and people like myself are not interested in secret hunting. I think it's a great concept if the "visible" part of the level is good enough, but not when the majority is hidden. Unless it's hidden for a reason, wouldn't want to get gangbanged in a moment's notice.

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Extensive secret\optional areas are always a great thing, except the titular example is a bad example (and a bad map in general)

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35 minutes ago, Marcaek said:

Extensive secret\optional areas are always a great thing, except the titular example is a bad example (and a bad map in general)

But Death's Bells though.

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WHO DARES INSULT WORMHOLE?

Just kidding.  :)

 

Anyways, first time I played that map, it must have been like: "What a lame map. I finished it in seconds."

The second time though, when I took my time and found all the secrets, I loved every second of it. The defining moment for this map, was when I looked at the wall textures, after I went through that teleporter linedef and noticed that they are all decayed and different. The realization hit so hard, that I couldn't help it. It is my second most favourite iwad map. And Death's Bells further enhances the experience.

 

Speaking more generally though, what can I say? I just love maps that tell a story like that. Like others said, it is definitely hard to make the optional areas worth it, but if you manage to do that, you get a masterpiece. This kind of map gives an option to the player, of how he approaches the map and an option like that is not something you see often in Doom. It is a unique take on great level design.

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